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Madhavan, Raj

Associate Research Scientist

Research Interests 

Unmanned ground vehicle navigation in unstructured and dynamic environments; Performance evaluation, benchmarking, standardization issues, and standards-defining activities in mobile robotics navigation and mapping


Raj Madhavan is an associate research scientist with the University of Maryland, College Park and through June 2013 was a guest researcher with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA. He received a Ph.D. in Field Robotics from the University of Sydney, ME(Research) in Systems Engineering from the Australian National University, and BEEE from the College of Engineering, Anna University, India. Over the last 18 years, he has contributed to various topics in field robotics, systems and control theory. His current research interests include autonomous vehicle navigation in unstructured environments, performance evaluation, benchmarking, and standardization of intelligent systems, and the application of robotics and automation technologies for promoting humanitarian causes in a variety of domains. He has edited two books and four journal special issues, and has published over 170 papers in archival journals, conferences, and technical reports.

Dr. Madhavan has served as an invited independent judge for robotics competitions, has given numerous invited presentations in research organizations in several countries and has served on program committees of premier robotics, automation, and control conferences. He is active at various levels of IEEE and currently serves as the Vice President of the Industrial Activities Board, Chair of the Standing Committee for Standards Activities, and Chair of the Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) within the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE-RAS), as a Director of the IEEE Washington Section, IEEE Region 2 Conference Coordinator, and as a member of the New Standards Committee (NesCOM) of the IEEE Standards Association’s Standards Board. He has won numerous service awards from IEEE (most recently he was voted as the 2008 Volunteer of the Year). He was the postgraduate winner of the 1998 IEEE Region 10 (Asia and the Pacific) student paper competition and the graduate division winner of the 1998 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) outstanding student paper contest.

Selected Publications 

Edited Books, Journal Issues and Workshop Proceedings

1. R. Madhavan, E. Tunstel and E. Messina (Eds.), Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking of Intelligent Systems, Springer, ISBN: 978-1-4419-0491-1, September 2009.

2. R. Madhavan, E.R. Messina and J.S. Albus (Eds.), Intelligent Vehicle Systems: A 4D/RCS Approach, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., ISBN: 1-60021-260-3, December 2006.

3. R. Madhavan, C. Scrapper and A. Kleiner (Eds.), Special Issue on Characterizing Mobile Robot Localization and Mapping, Autonomous Robots, Springer, Vol. 27, No. 4, November 2009 (in press).

4. R. Madhavan, A. Jacoff and E. Messina (Eds.), Special Issue on Quantitative Performance Evaluation of Robotic and Intelligent Systems, Journal of Field Robotics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Vol. 24, Issue 8-9, pp. 623-799, August-September 2007.

5. R. Madhavan and E. Messina (Eds.), Proceedings of the Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems (PerMIS) Workshop, NIST Special Publication 1062/1073/1090, August 2006/2007/2008/2009 (to appear).

6. A. del Pobil, R. Madhavan and F. Bonsignorio (Eds.), Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking for Intelligent Robots and Systems, Workshop Proceedings, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), St. Louis/Nice/San Diego, 2007/2008/2009.

Ten other significant publications (out of over 125 publications)

7. J. Albus, R. Bostelman, R. Madhavan, H. Scott, A. Barbera, S. Szabo, T-H. Hong, T. Chang, W. Shackleford, M. Shneier, S. Balakirsky, C. Schlenoff, H-M. Huang and F. Proctor, Intelligent Control of Mobility Systems, in Computational Intelligence in Automotive Applications, D. Prokhorov (Ed.), Book Series on Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer, pp. 237-274, May 2008.

8. R. Madhavan and E. Messina, Intelligent Unmanned Ground Vehicle Navigation via Information Evaluation, Advanced Robotics: The International Journal of the Robotics Society of Japan, VSP International Science Publishers, Vol. 20, No. 12, 2006 , 2006.

9. C. Schlenoff, J. Albus, E. Messina, A. Barbera, R. Madhavan and S. Balakirsky, Using 4D/RCS to Address AI Knowledge Integration, AI Magazine, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 71-82, Summer 2006 (Invited).

10. R. Madhavan, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Navigation in Unstructured Environments, in New Developments in Robotics Research, J. Liu (Ed.), Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 1-71, December 2005 (Invited).

11. R. Madhavan and E. Messina, Performance Evaluation of Temporal Range Registration for Unmanned Vehicle Navigation, Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering, IOS Press, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 291-303, 2005 (Invited).

12. R. Madhavan, T. Hong and E. Messina, Temporal Range Registration for Unmanned Ground and Aerial Vehicles, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, Springer Science & Business Media B.V., Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 47–69, Sept. 2005.

13. K. Fregene, D. Kennedy, R. Madhavan, L.E. Parker and D. Wang, A Class of Intelligent Agents for Coordinated Control of Outdoor Terrain Mapping UGVs, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Elsevier, Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 513--531, June 2005.

14. R. Madhavan, K. Fregene and L.E. Parker, Distributed Cooperative Outdoor Multirobot Localization and Mapping, Autonomous Robots (Special Issue on Analysis and Experiments in Distributed Multi-Robot Systems), Vol. 17, Issue 1, pp. 23–39, Kluwer Academic Publishers, July 2004.

15. R. Madhavan and H. Durrant-Whyte, Natural Landmark-based Autonomous Navigation using Curvature Scale Space, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol. 46, Issue 2, pp. 79–95, Elsevier, Feb. 2004.

16. R. Madhavan, Tracking Control of a Pendulum using a Computationally Efficient State Estimation Approach for Polynomic Non-linear Systems, International Journal of Control, Taylor and Francis Co. Ltd., Vol. 72, No. 17, pp. 1565-1591, November 1999.

Related News 

Madhavan's work for RAS-SIGHT featured in IEEE's The Institute
SIGHT coordinates IEEE's humanitarian efforts. February 20, 2013

Raj Madhavan chairs new IEEE robotics special interest group
RAS-SIGHT focuses on humanitarian technology. December 20, 2012

Madhavan delivers plenary address at RobMech 2012
Madhavan's talk focused on evaluating industrial mobile robots. December 20, 2012

Raj Madhavan elected VP of IEEE society board
Madhavan will serve on the Robotics Automation Society's Industrial Activities Board. September 23, 2011

Raj Madhavan joins ISR as assistant research scientist
Research interests are in unmanned ground vehicle and mobile robotics navigation and mapping. February 26, 2010